ST MICHAEL

Lent 32 ~ There was a Fourth

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Prayer to St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Most Holy Trinity, I thank Thee for having formed the hosts of Thy ministers in Heaven so marvelously, and for having adorned their leader so magnificently. Be Thou adored and loved in the beauty and grandeur of Thy ministers: be Thou praised in their jubilant songs of praise and thanksgiving, through all eternity. Amen

O holy princes of Heaven, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, I praise you for the love with which the Most High has loved you and placed you so near to His own throne. Be mindful of our necessities, and at the head of the Holy Angels, do battle for the Church of God upon earth, that Satan may be forced to yield ever more, and the Kingdom of light and grace, virtue and the holy love of God, may flourish in splendor, and its beauty be acknowledged by all. Amen.

         

           …do battle for the Church of God upon earth. Battle. Weapons. Swords?

Four Crosses in the sky

Four swords

belonging to

St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael

And a fourth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Have Chosen You

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          A sweet morning. Tender sunbeams, breath~soft winds tickling boughs and leaves. In a gentle yearning, I return to the hymn of yesterday, God And Man At Table Are Sat Down. The minute I begin to play it, the winds rustle stronger.

          Then, I see the words,

I have chosen you

          And the wind voices rise high.

          My St. Michael sign.

I have chosen you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sword of the August Queen

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In 1864, a soul, Father Louis Cestac, saw a vision of demons spread out over the earth, causing unbelievable ravage. And then, the Mother of God told him that the time had come to pray to the Queen of the angels, and to ask Her to send the holy legions to combat and overthrow the powers of hell.

“My Mother,” said this soul, “you who are so good, could You not send them without our having to ask?”

“No,” replied the Holy Virgin. “Prayer is a condition set by God Himself in order to obtain graces.”

Upon asking for a prayer, Fr Cestac received from the most Holy Virgin, the prayer, August Queen.

 

          Over the weekend, an unseen hand gently and lightly took me to the 40-day St. Michael’s Lent Novena. It was a set of prayers I had been led to more than a year ago in August when a colleague had hurt me very deeply. Through the 40 days of prayers at that time, I found strength and consolation to rise each day and to go to face this strange and unexplained hate towards me. With the love of Jesus, Mother Mary and St. Michael, I made it through those bitter days of humiliations and hurts.

          Last weekend, I realised that it was 40 days to Christmas. The yearned for end of year break was approaching in a week’s time. I was very tired. All I could think about and anticipate was the end of a work year and the beginning of some weeks of rest – and not forgetting, the joy of preparing for Christmas!

          But out of nowhere, Someone reached out and caught my heart, leading me instead to the St. Michael’s novena. With little deliberation, I promised to say it.

          Nonetheless, the leading this time was so gentle that as soon as I said the first day prayers, I wondered if I had misread the summons – because it felt like the prayer did not fit the season. I wondered if I had jumped into this with the spiritual impetuousness so typical of me. Yet, having sealed my will to saying the prayers, I balked against bailing out.

          Today, I discovered that my committing to the prayer had nothing to do with impulsivity. For today brought a very minor brush against that same colleague’s hatred and anger. After long weeks of peace away from her, she had returned briefly this morning, and in those minutes contrived to let me know how deeply the rivers of hate still flowed within her. Slightly singed this time from the fire in her hidden depths, I had no intention of returning to the poisonous wellsprings I had swum in before. So, as often as it rose within me, I placed this new hurt in the hands of St. Anne, the mother of Mary, for St. Anne is the keeper of my tears.

          As the last of the waterbirds sang their farewells to the setting sun, and the smoke-coasted winds bowed their heads to the coming night, a new emissary came before my heart, bearing the prayer, August Queen. Something brushed against my spirit as I read the lines of the prayer.

August Queen of the Heavens, heavenly sovereign of the Angels, Thou who from the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech Thee to send Your holy Legions, so that under Thy command and through Thy power, they may pursue the demons and combat them everywhere, suppress their boldness, and drive them back into the abyss. Who is like God? O good and tender Mother, Thou will always be our love and hope! O Divine Mother, send Thy Holy Angels to defend me and to drive far away from me the cruel enemy. Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us, guard us. Amen.

Defend me. Cruel enemy. A battle cryAm I being asked to say the prayer? I wondered. Putting the call to the test, I received my answer: I recalled the vicious, senseless anger of my colleague earlier in the day.

          It was not mere frustration with the vagaries of life. It was the breath of hell.

          And the August Queen prayer was to be prayed against it.

          Overruling the last remnant of doubt, I firmly decided to make it my morning prayer for as long as I needed to. But Someone wanted no shadow of uncertainty to fall across my prayer, no matter how slight.

          At that moment, one of my children, named after St. Michael, casually told me about a sudden gust of wind earlier in the morning. Among the many little beads of events from a busy day, this stood out and it was laughingly shared it with me.

          It took me back to a day a few years ago, when I had been in prayer to St. Michael and hours later, had sought a sign.

A sudden gust of wind had sprung out of nowhere.

It came straight for my heart and then it was gone.

I understood then that it was the sign for me of St. Michael’s presence. And now, upon hearing what my child had said, I immediately recognised it – it was St. Michael’s sign.

          August Queen. The title of the prayer tugged at me. And then, I saw what I had not seen before.

The August Queen prayer was the closing prayer of the St. Michael’s novena.

          The last petal uncurled. In the final days of the year, even as the bells Christmas joyously tinkle ever closer, another wind is rising unseen, determined to come between us and the Light to Come. The shadow that hides within the confines of many hearts is the odour of that feral entity.

          It must be fought – but now with The August Queen prayer.

          That was St. Michael’s sword to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Something You Do Alone

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Let us charge into the good fight with joy and love without being afraid of our enemies. Though unseen themselves, they can look at the face of our soul, and if they see it altered by fear, they take up arms against us all the more fiercely. For the cunning creatures have observed that we are scared. So let us take up arms against them courageously. No one will fight with a resolute fighter.  ~   St. John Climacus

 

          Given what has been happening at work as well as its spillover effects, I have reason to fear and worry. Yet, today, seeing St. John Climacus’ words, I wonder if my fear has showed. And if it has fed bully-hearts, emboldened them to further abuse. Because this is not fear as we know it.

          My fear is my floundering faith.

          I think of the two envoys sent to me for these 40 days: St. Pio and St. Michael. Saints associated, particularly, with courage. Courage fed and nourished by the humility of total dependence on God.

          A friend close to my heart gave me these words of advice last night for the 40:

Remember too that when you offer this you are uniting it to Christ.  It is not something you do alone, He lifts you up, so rely on Him and not yourself and He will guide you through it.

 

It is not something you do alone.

          This is exactly how the old hours were lived. I took on a huge burden of reparation yesterday. I invoked His aid. But then, I let go of His hand and went it alone, into steaming red hours. And they swamped and battered me.

          Today, on the Feast of the Assumption, I begin anew. I bind my heart to Jesus and Mary. If before I failed in humility of absolute dependence on God, I renew my efforts once more. Exactly how I am to accomplish this surrender, I don’t know. But I have St. Pio and St. Michael. I will let them lead.

          Because this is not something you do alone.

 

 

 

 

 

FEAST OF THE ARCHANGELS ~ Sept 29

The Three Archangels with Tobias ~ by Francesco Botticini

The Three Archangels with Tobias ~ by Francesco Botticini

PRAYER TO THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL

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Saint Michael the Archangel,

Powerful Spirit of Truth

Take my hand and lead me to Divine Truth

Protect me from all the evil in the world

Guard me and compensate for all my weaknesses

Change, bless, and restore the consequences of all my mistakes

Carry me on the wings of your love and might

To the Throne of God and

Pray to Him with me forever.

Amen.

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PRAYER TO THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL

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O loving messenger of the Incarnation, descend upon all those for whom I wish peace and happiness. Spread your wings over the cradles of the newborn babies, you who  announced the coming of the Infant Jesus. Give to the young, a lily petal from the virginal scepter in your hand. Cause the Ave Maria to re-echo in all hearts that they may find grace and joy through Mary. Finally, recall the sublime words spoken on the day of the Annunciation– “Nothing is impossible with God,” and repeat them in hours of trial–to all I love–that their confidence in Our Lord may be reanimated, when all human help fails. Amen.

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PRAYER TO THE ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL

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Glorious Archangel Saint Raphael,

great prince of the heavenly court,

you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace.

You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air,

Consoler of the afflicted,

And refuge of sinners.

I beg you,

Assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life,

As once you helped the young Tobias on his travels.

Because you are the medicine of God;

I humbly pray to you to heal the many infirmities

of my soul and the ills that afflict my body.

I especially ask of you the favour …….

And the great grace of purity

To prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.

AMEN.